A few months ago, Chevy released some preliminary info about the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu, and now, with updated figures available, it looks like the Bowtie brand’s midsize sedan is already exceeding expectations. Which would make for a nice turnaround from the 2013 model that has accomplished the exact opposite task, at least when it comes to sales.
Despite launching as an all-new model for the 2013 model year—and inching into the black in July, with sales up by 1 percent—the Malibu actually is behind last year’s sales pace by 19.6 percent after the first seven months of calendar year 2013.
And that, in turn, helps explain the fairly deep refreshing received by the 2014 Chevy Malibu. The car gets some cosmetic fine-tuning, of course, but the brand also went to work to address the entry-level Malibu’s fuel-economy ratings, as the more recent launch of the next-gen Ford Fusion and Honda Accord had pushed those numbers down on the ol’ MPG leaderboard. In response, engineers made sure the Malibu was the first entry-level midsizer in America with stop/start technology, while also deploying new valve-intake technology and an upgraded six-speed automatic transmission.
Originally, the Chevy division was expecting that combination of features to raise the 2014 Malibu’s fuel-economy ratings by about 1 mpg in all facets of EPA testing; instead, the entry point to the 2014 Chevy Malibu family gains 3 mpg city/2 mpg highway/3 mpg combined. Just note that all these enhancements do come at a price, with Chevy raising the MSRP of the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu by $145 (and increasing its destination charge by $15, to $825, as well).
The new midsize leaderboard for both pricing and fuel-economy in entry-level models, ranked by combined fuel-efficiency grades, looks like this:
- 2014 Nissan Altima ($21,860)—27/38/31
- 2014 Mazda Mazda6 ($20,990)—26/38/30
- 2014 Chevy Malibu ($22,140)—25 mpg city/36 mpg highway/29 mpg combined
- 2014 Honda Accord ($21,680)—26/34/29
- 2014 Toyota Camry ($22,235)—25/35/28
- 2013 Hyundai Sonata ($21,195)—24/35/28
- 2013 Kia Optima ($21,350)—24/35/28
- 2014 Ford Fusion ($21,900)—22/34/26